The company “International Investments” EAD is among the largest debtors of BDB with over BGN 115 million in credit. She used it to acquire the Miragio Thermal Spa Resort complex in Halkidiki. Information about the ownership of the luxury property in Greece, for which 90 million euros were paid, leads to Delyan Peevski and Yordan Tsonev, an investigation by BDRD found.
In July 2020, the newspapers of lawmaker Delyan Peevski trumpeted that Kornelia Ninova has a loan from BDB through the company “International Investments” EAD. The allegations refer to the connection through the manager of the company Sanko Peshev, who is the brother of Ivan Peshev, chairman of the BSP – Krasno Selo and curator of the party newspaper Duma.
Stanko Peshev is indeed the manager of the Greek company “Med Sea Health S.A.”, which owns the hotel. Ownership is established by the title deeds 13.590/2019, 13.591/2019 and 13.592/2019, as well as by company documents entered in the Commercial Register of Greece, which the BRRD has. Previously, it belonged to the Pontic Greeks Valery and Andrea Ragotis (of Russian citizenship). The company acquired the hotel in 2016 with a notary deed 15.967/2016. At the end of 2019 Ragotis sold the company “Med Sea Health S.A.”, respectively the land owned by it and the hotel, but it is not known to whom. The known facts are that since October 7, 2019, Sanko Peshev has been registered as a manager. On 15 January 2020, the capital of Med Sea Health S.A. was increased with 4.677.450 € through a contribution from another company whose name we could not establish from available documents in the register.
The Mirajio complex spreads over 330 acres and has 304 rooms and suites, some of which with private pools, a wellness center 5 restaurants, 6 bars, 6 swimming pools, a conference hall with a capacity of 350 people, a children’s village, sports facilities and a marina with 81 seats for boats up to 25 meters. See photos here.
“Ultrastroy” and corpulent shadows from DPS
The Greek business press reflects the change of ownership of the hotel and names the company Ultrastroy as the new owner, as well as the amount of the deal – over 90 million euros. The BRRD contacted the author of the article, Christos Dimopoulos, who confirmed that he had this information from sources close to the sellers.
According to Dimopoulos, Ultrastroy plans to improve the existing facilities of the Miradzhio complex (restaurant and bar, marina with its expansion, thermal spa, conference center, open amphitheater), but the most important investment will be in the construction of another 130 houses adjacent to the Mare Village project.
The company Mare Village is also managed by Sanko Peshev, a check of the BRRD in the Greek Commercial Register showed. And Ultrastroy has other property interests in Greece. In August 2017, the company purchased land on the neighboring peninsula of Halkidiki – Sithonia for 3.1 million euros. A year earlier, Ultrastroy received a BGN 7.9 million loan from the Bulgarian Development Bank.
Formally, the ownership of Ultrastroy has no connection with Peevski. It is a sole proprietorship with owner Ivan Borisov Borisov. However, an investigation by Bivol found that the company is a partner and subcontractor in a number of serious public procurements of Vodstroy 98, known as connected to Delyan Peevski. The company was also a subcontractor in the repair of the central Sofia railway station, where the main consortium was between GBS and Vodstroy 98. Outside the public procurement, Ultrastroy works on private sites related to the Bulgartabac holding, such as the reconstruction of workshops of the Yuri Gagarin cigarette filter company. Both companies are affiliated with Peevski. Although Ultrastroy is indebted to BDB, it was chosen to build the new building of the bank.
In 2016, the Israeli investors in Vitosha Resort 2000, Moti Ramot and Rami Levy, gave an interview to the site Bivol, in which they warned that their business was seized through deliberate bankruptcy cases similar to those in the Belvedere scandal. They pointed out as the initiator of the judicial attack the company “Ultrastroy”. Subsequently, the Israelis filed an arbitration claim for BGN 100 million against the Bulgarian state at the World Bank’s International Center for Investor Dispute Resolution (ICSID) in Washington.
Ultrastroy also owned the rights to 10 million shares of the company Transstroy Holding AD. This is clear from the loan agreement with BDB from 2016, which states that these shares are not pledged as collateral. Transstroy has a connection to Yordan Tsonev from the MRF – co-author of laws together with Delyan Peevski. Tsonev, of course, does not appear with his name in Transstroy but his relationship with former owners and managers of the company is traced through the property transactions of his relatives in an investigation of Bivol for lands on the southern Black Sea coast seized by fraud.
115 million leva from BDB without collateral?
So far, the relationship between Ultrastroy and BDB’s borrower International Investments is unclear. In addition to the Peevski editions, “International Investments” is also mentioned as the owner of “Miradgio” in a publication of the Capital newspaper, which refers to its sources. Perhaps an answer can be found in the credit file of “International Investments”, which, according to caretaker Minister of Economy Kiril Petkov, will be studied, along with the files of 7 other companies to which the Bank for the Development of Small and Medium Businesses has lent almost 1 billion. BGN loans.
A reason for careful inspection is also the fact that no collateral has been registered under this loan on the shares of the company “International Investments” in the Commercial Register, as established by the financial journalist Miroslav Ivanov. “International Investments” EAD has a capital of 1 mln. Lv. and was established in January 2019.
The sole owner of the capital of “International Investments” is East West Properties AD and its majority shareholder is Emil Robert Vasilev. He is associated with Sanko Peshev in several companies. East West Properties has been transformed by EOOD into AD in 2020 and the company has subscribed a capital of BGN 500,000.
East West Properties is known to manage a franchise for Bulgaria of the real estate agency RE/MAX, which is the largest franchise real estate agency in the world. BRRD tried to contact Emil Vassilev through his public profile on the social network Facebook, but he did not respond to our inquiries.
A check of the Bureau in the Property Register found that there are no registered pledges for properties of “International Investments” or “East West Properties”. There can be no way, because despite their thunderous names, the two companies do not own any properties in Bulgaria. Personal properties of Emil Vasilev or Sanko Peshev also have no collateral for this loan.
In the absence of collateral for BDB owners, understand for all Bulgarian citizens, the hope remains that Miragio’s tourism business will go up and the loan will be repaid with interest. So far, the prospects are not flourishing. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Mirajio was unable to open in 2020, so the acquisition of the luxury hotel does not bring any profitability to its new owners, but generates maintenance costs.
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